Booking Partners - Celebrating 25 Years With A Fresh New Look
In this article our Managing Director, Charley Fisher, reflects on the last 25 years of working in the corporate travel industry and, marks our anniversary, by unveiling our new website and brand identity.
Booking Partners was created from an offshoot within an in-house corporate travel department in a major PLC. In the early days, there were a few phone lines coming into my house, which was packed with guidebooks in those pre-internet days.
The intervening decades have seen huge changes in the business travel and meetings market, not least the maturity of the Hotel Booking Agency (HBA) concept and corporates' acceptance of the value of outsourcing their accommodation requirements to specialists like Booking Partners. During this time, we have grown to work with a diverse range of clients of all sizes and industries.
Over time, we have also widened our services to include conference and meetings management and introduced a range of added value support services and tools to help our clients manage their travel expenditure and, ultimately, reduce their costs.
We recognise that each and every one of our clients are different which is why we tailor our services to their exact needs. I firmly believe that the greatest barometer of our success has been the feedback we have received from our clients, many of whom have remained with us from day 1! Our team works really hard to deliver an outstanding, personal, service and this is clearly reflected in the feedback that we receive.
As we have evolved, the industry has also changed significantly too. Since the recession, the hotel industry is currently enjoying a robust period of stronger demand and this improved outlook will mean greater pressure on negotiated rates for travel managers. So, what can travel managers do to cope with this increased pressure on budgets? We recommend negotiating better deals with suppliers and evaluate commitments, policies and guidelines. Travel policy compliance is likely to be the single most pressing issue facing corporate travel buyers today and it probably represents the greatest opportunities for savings. Once you're able to convince travellers to use preferred suppliers and follow the guidelines you've established and communicated, compliance is much less of an issue.
The 2008 financial crisis also signalled the rise of the budget hotel chain. It triggered a change in attitude from larger corporations, encouraging a more cost conscious approach to hotel accommodation expenses. Improved standards and competitive costs now mean that budget hotels are no longer used by SME business travellers. Whilst the rise in standards and the growing level of competition may be a huge challenge for the hotel industry, it is all very welcome news to companies looking to get the best value out of their business travel budget.
Booking Partners - Celebrating 25 Years...
To mark our 25th anniversary and to demonstrate how we have evolved we also felt that it was the right time to update our brand. As such, we now have a new, fully responsive, website and brand identity which promotes our breadth of service and better reflects the importance that we place on the personal service that we provide to our clients. I am immensely proud of all that we have achieved and very much look forward to the next 25 years of delivering an exceptional service to our clients!
To contact us or for more information about our services please visit our new look website www.bookingpartners.co.uk.